State government says childcare centre leases will be renewed 'as normal'

Claims childcare centres located at schools will not have their leases renewed have been deflated by the state government.

Opposition education spokeswoman Michelle O’Byrne said co-located centres across Tasmania could face closure to allow space for expanded kindergartens if the new school starting age plan comes into effect in 2020.

“The state government is currently conducting an audit of all of its kindergartens to see if it can cope and see what it will need to spend to get those centres up to manage additional children and when you have a co-located childcare centre that the department already owns then it’s not much of a leap to recognise that that would be an easy fix to the government’s problem, that is a problem of its own making,” she said.

However, a government spokeswoman labeled it a “scare campaign by Labor”.

“Of course leases will be renewed as per normal contract arrangements,” she said. “There will always be a need for before and after school care - that will not change.”

It is a question that has been around since the government announced its plan to change the voluntary school starting age to three-and-a-half.

The government’s proposal stipulates that a long day care centre can seek registration to deliver pre-school kindergarten services and would be able to seek funding for their Kindergarten programs.